Of those that made submissions to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment on the proposed Santos Narrabri Gas Project, the majority 64 per cent of Narrabri Local Area object to the project and only 36 per cent support the project.
When people beyond the Narrabri local area are included, the opposition is even higher.
Of all the 22,949 valid submissions made in relation to the proposed Project (a record response), 22,484 (98 per cent) objected to it - the largest opposition to any project in the history of NSW.
Yet, at the 2020 Santos Annual General Meeting, Chairman Keith Spence claims the opposite, "we are confident the Narrabri Project enjoys strong support in the Local Narrabri Community - the majority 58% of submitters in the Narrabri area support the project".
Santos's desperation to create the illusion of a social licence to operate for the sake of its investors has led it to dismiss the validity and clearly expressed views of the majority of Narrabri people and an extraordinary 22,639 submissions.
These 22,639, people, experts and organisations highlighted the negative impacts of the proposed Narrabri Gas Project, impacts that will extend well beyond its physical boundaries.
These negative impacts include: green house gas emissions; light pollution from flares; desecration of Gomeroi lands; the disposal of 430,000 tonnes of toxic salts; and the draw down and contamination of underground fresh water systems, such as the Great Artesian Basin, do not respect local government boundaries.
In spite of the considerable sums on sponsorship and donations that Santos has spent attempting to win support in the Narrabri area, those who object to the proposed project still outnumber those who support it by two to one.
Two other surveys confirm the sentiment expressed in submissions to the Department of Planning and Environment.
Opposition to the proposed Narrabri Gas Project is even greater outside the Narrabri area, where surveys show 96 per cent are against it.
Landholders know they will have to bear the risk of contamination of their products from coal seam gas development, as no insurance company will provide them cover against it.
For Santos to cherry pick the numbers to contrive a social licence to operate is a sign of desperation and has not overcome the overwhelming opposition to the project.
Stuart Murray, President People for the Plains, Narrabri
Opening our communities
Many appear pleased professional rugby league and drinking venues have opened to the public. These have led the way because we're getting back to work.
The whole community is desperate for professional sport and presumably the related drinking and gambling of this critical industry.
Pity the employees and the money generated by art galleries and other cultural institutions aren't considered as essential. No access to public libraries. Not essential.
What a bereft society we are that art, culture or any similar word or idea is absent from the state and federal governments' snap back plans.
Sweaty contact sports are ok but I can't enter a library or see a play or artwork. So what is the plan? Anyone?
Susan Armstead, Kentucky
Warren Woodley's article
I would like to congratulate Warren Woodley on the excellent article published in NDL on May 6, 2020, and the research undertaken.
Farmers and graziers are often accused of being climate change sceptics or deniers. Warren's article goes a long way in explaining why.
In my 80-odd years living and working on the land I have experienced many droughts and alternating wet seasons. However I have to admit that the recent drought exceeded any experienced before.
This time the McDonald River which supplies Walcha's water supply stopped flowing. Some long time residents of the Ingelba area south of Walcha report their ancestors saying the only time the McDonald stopped flowing previously was in the Federation drought.
All this explains that the climate does change and is not only a recent phenomena.
There is no doubt that human exploitation of the planet is something to worry about and the consumerism and subsequent waste which occurs should be seriously questioned.
Instead of rallying and protesting and blaming the government the agitators should consider what they can do such as having a holiday close to home instead of flying to Bali, Fiji or Europe; giving up air conditioning, walking or biking to work and school; giving up their smart phones etc.
In other words revert to living more like our ancestors did. I very much doubt many people, especially those vocal young people would want to go to that extreme.
Don Murchie, Walcha
Moving too fast
Operation 'Warp Speed' as announced by President Trump in relation to vaccine development sounds great but it's wrong. Warp speed is not possible despite what Star Trek promises and is fictional, a concept that seems to apply to many of the President's announcements. The use of warp speed refers to how fast and thus hour far you can travel not to the development of anything.
I am sure that a number of people would like to see Mr Trump travel for even one second at warp speed. It would be an out of this world experience and he would be most of the way to the moon.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill
Will China seek payback for loss of face over coronavirus?
Have we seen Jack Burrell's 1974 vision and words of knowledge from 'What Will Become of Australia' by Jack Burrell about an invader to Australia? Jacks vision, one of a number, is a benchmark in the Christian churches of Australia. A classic from the 1970s. As with all prophecies we just have to wait and see if the prophecy comes to pass.
Jacks vision can be found at https://whatwillbecomeofaustraliabyjburrell.blogspot.com.au/ or by googling up the book name on the internet.
Graeme Gibson, Caringbah
Democracy and Religion
Daniel Peckham (Democracy and Religion May 15) may well think my thesis that democracy is a religion curious. It's new.
A proposition that a French Revolutionary conception of democracy as a religion was lost, leading to a mistaken political conception of it for the last 200 years will seem curious.
I have to query some of the detail in Daniel's letter, even though, being an orthodox perspective, it's about something different from the Church of Democratic Enlightenment (CODE).
CODE would ask "looking at the democracies today, how likely is it that there isn't a valid alternative conception of democracy?"
Daniel says "Stan Heuston claims the attainment of virtue is the goal of Christianity, and other religions, but this isn't true...".
I'm guessing folks think there's a sense in which religion's about virtue. "Democracy has nothing to do with Christianity"?
Do we look to "Christianity the cornerstone of democratic values" (David Cameron, The Australian April 18 2015)
Greg Sheridan "Australians need to be better educated about the role Christianity has played in securing our basic freedoms"? (10 April 2019 Ramsay Centre); Dyson Heydon "Liberalism built on Christian principles is lost on modern elites"? (4 November 2017 google Dyson Heydon Christianity and Democracy); or the regular Easter press articles on this theme? Or to whether everyone is equal in the sight of God is the same equality as "Liberty Equality Fraternity" of the Revolution? Or to Christianity as the historical partner of modern democracy?
Most Christian nations have before democratisation been monarchies, not "theocracies", a crucial distinction in that Christianity has rarely sought its authoritarian imposition on all the people.
Daniel says "democracy undermines religion because it places trust in humanity to govern itself". And in this Easter's Australian we read "In the life of Jesus God uniquely expresses maximum solidarity with humanity.." (Greg Sheridan "Easter solace for us all" April 11-12).
Finally "democracy places trust in humans, not supernatural entities". So does CODE.
As I said here on May 6, ".. the people exercise ...their faith in themselves to rise to earthly supremacy".
CODE's about an earthly religion, democracy, as https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.churchofdemocraticenlightenment.com__;!!LBk0ZmAmG_H4m2o!_-rZxFnyPAe0aHzZmxalI8DvSkiDPDors0EOPxRvi3doHa5NFpUjLC79xsO4eEb7FAHYk_4$ explains.
Finally some more questions about present democracy.
"Do you rule the nation, as one of a ruling people?" "Which conception of democracy might best inspire the people to its full realisation, the present political one or a religious conception?"
"Looking at the decline of Christianity in the West, would religion gain by the addition of reason to its sacred practice?"
"Looking at our community, do you see the unity of a ruling people?"
"Do you think citizens can rule the nation without discipline, or morality, such as we associate with religion, but not currently with democracy?
Stan Heuston, Oxley Vale